According to the GSA, Recovery.gov will be rebuilt over the course of five months for a total of $9,516,324. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board then has the option to exercise options that can take the contract through 4 more years for a total of $17,948,518. The award winner is a company called Smartronix which will likely subcontract out to several companies over the next few weeks to deliver the site.
There’s a lively discussion happening on the Sunlight Labs Email List, and we’re trying to gather information about what the contract details are. While Twitter is on fire with shock at the price tag, I don’t think that’s the real problem here.
The real problem is transparency. The real problem is that while many are outraged at the cost, you can’t presume that the government isn’t spending its money wisely unless you know both what Government is paying and what they’re paying for. We don’t know what they’re paying for, yet.
I hope that this gets rectified soon and that the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, along with Smartronix works with our community to make sure of three things:
- That people know what every dime of that $18MM is being spent on,
- That Smartronix works with the community to make the process of building Recovery.gov open and transparent, and
- That Smartronix works with the Sunlight Labs community to make the data published on Recovery.gov accessible and machine readable to developers.
Here at Sunlight we’re trying to make that happen. So we begin Chapter 2. As new stuff develops, we’ll keep you informed.